Are you in a public place? Look around. Can you tell whether any of the women you see are ovulating, just by looking at them? Neither can anybody else. But several small studies have suggested that men nevertheless find women’s faces more attractive when they’re most fertile. No one knows what signals the men are…
Turns out that African apes and humans have more in common than previously thought. Observations made in the jungles of Guinea show wild chimps sipping alcoholic tree sap from leaf sponges, followed by some characteristically drunken behaviors.
There’s a new branch on the human family tree. Anthropologists say they’ve found a new human ancestor, who lived 3.5 million years ago, right beside Australopithecus afarensis on the plains of what is now Ethiopia.
Humans have a remarkable ability to see patterns where none exist. In the hot-hand phenomenon we perceive streaks of wins or losses where the data, in truth, are random. New research shows that monkeys are subject to the same bias, which might suggest that the bias is evolutionarily adaptive, and maybe even rational.
There has been a long tradition of employing animals in military operations. The latest example might be China's troop of macaque soldiers.
As Henry Reich explains in this installment of Minute Earth, yes, monogamy does exist in the animal kingdom – though fewer creatures practice it than you probably realize.
Unlike all other primates, clawed New World Monkeys almost always give birth to twins. But why? It turns out these animals have a unique set of adaptations that make it possible — and could prove useful to humans as well.
In the mid-1600s, green monkeys from Africa were introduced to the West Indies island of Barbados. Despite living a predator-free life for centuries, the Barbados population still responds to an ancestral alarm call that means, roughly translated, “Run up a tree or a leopard will eat you!”
The “snake detection theory” holds that snakes played a significant role in the evolution of humans and other primates. They molded our brains, shaped our visual systems, and helped us survive. Now there is new evidence to back up this unusual theory, which explains both our agile minds and our uncanny ability to…
Marmosets are fluffy, 8-inch-long monkeys native to South America. They are also very polite. New research shows that these little mammals carry on lengthy, back-and-forth discussions without interrupting one another. This is a conversation style adopted by only one other kind of primate: humans.
Humans pride ourselves on our ability to make plans for the future. But it turns out that we're not the only animals who think ahead. Scientists have observed wild orangutans planning their travel routes a day in advance, and communicating their itinerary to community members.
From an evolutionary standpoint, monogamy doesn't seem to make much sense – especially for males. And yet, it's practiced by a significant number of mammalian species, including humans. Now, in a fantastic example of science in progress, two newly published studies with divergent conclusions seek to explain why.
Sometimes a particular smell, flavor or other sensory cue can trigger a flood of distant memories. New research shows chimpanzees and orangutans have similar capacities for this kind of episodic memory — they're able to accurately recall an event that happened three years prior. The results suggest, once again, that…
Whether you're looking for a graphic novel about the early breakthroughs in primate research, an account of the rigors of fieldwork, or just a scientific version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Louis Leakey as a slightly horny Willy Wonka, this is the book for you.
When our ancient ancestors left their arboreal homes, they ditched their flexible feet for rigid tootsies best suited for walking on the ground. But according to a new study, 1 out of every 13 people may have bendy, tree-ready feet, without even knowing it.
Scientists have discovered fossils of two newfound primate species, dating back to 25 million years ago. One fossil belongs to the group that contains great apes (hominids), while the other is from the group that includes Old World monkeys. The discovery may mark the moment when our primate ancestors first diverged…
While they're perhaps less likely to take up paragliding or get an ill-advised tattoo, it appears that other primates suffer from midlife crises just like Homo sapiens. A new study of chimps and orangutans found that they have a major dip in well-being during their middle years.
Today, at the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity, researchers with the International Union for Conservation of Nature unveiled a report detailing the world's 25 most endangered primates — mankind's most biologically similar living relatives.
Much like us, our hairier cousins have their own distinct facial features, unique combinations of jawlines, eye shapes, and nasal widths that make them recognizable on sight. But have you ever studied the differences between other primates' faces?